Dallas: Where's The Love?

Eric Neel says he respects the Mavericks but just can't fall in love with them as a great team. He blames Mark Cuban. Closer to the mark, I think, I saw Skip Bayless on ESPN this afternoon talking about "so-called superstar Dirk Nowitzki." The correct term for that sentiment is "crazy." Dirk is averaging over 25 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and over 90 percent from the line (42 percent from beyond the arc, thank you very much). Have I mentioned that he's seven feet tall and snags 9.5 rebounds per game? Three and a half assists isn't terrible, either. Oh, and Dallas plays with the league's third-slowest pace, depressing all of his numbers.

There is, in short, an irrational reluctance to embrace Nowitzki as a superstar. People seem almost resigned to him winning the MVP rather than celebrating his greatness. This, even though it's actually quite rare for the proverbial "best player on the best team" to also make an extremely strong case that he's having the best individual statistical season in the league. Is it because he's German? Because it seems unfair for a seven footer to have such a sweet shot? Who knows? Frankly, I feel it too.